DIY Prussian Blue

Prussia or blue tracking blue, in English "blue layout" with brush or spray is a way to create a bottom on the bar or knife to trace the guide curves or reference curves of the knife. The tracking of the bar you are working on is an important and accurate help when building the knife of chisels, punctures, etc. Using indelible markers is a widely used solution, but if you use this method you know that just a little water or WD-40 and you immediately lose the tracking, a nice hassle while you are working on your blade.5 min

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Prussian blue

The Prussian blue or tracingblue, in English “layout blue” layout blueprint” brush or spray is a way to create a bottom on the bar or knife to trace the guide curves or reference curves of the knife.

Tracing with Prussian blue of the steel bar you are working on is an important and precise help during the construction of the knife of bevels,punctures, etc.

Using indelible markers is a widely used solution, but if you use this method you know that just a little water or WD-40 and you immediately lose the tracking, a nice hassle while you are working on your blade.

On the market there are many Prussian blue products already made to trace is usually composed of: methilated spirit, shellac, gentian violet but if you want you can try this recipe that allows you with a few euros to have a huge amount of liquid to trace can be for you an alternative.

Marking blue, layout stain or Prussian blue is a dye used in metalworking to help mark parts for further processing.

It is sometimes called Dykem (as a generonimo nicknamed after a popular brand).

It is used to stain or paint a metal object with a very thin layer of dye that can be scratched using a tracing tip or other sharp tool to reveal a bright, yet very narrow line in the metal below.

The advantages are that any existing scratches are covered with dye, and the new lines have a contrasting background.

Blue marking is obtained by mixing denatured alcohol with shellac and gentian violet.

This should not be confused with non-drying engineer’s blue, produced by mixing Prussian blue with oil or grease.

Despite this, it is sometimes called the engineer’s blue, which can create confusion.

blue layout

Personally for convenience I use the spray versions but out of curiosity I tried this recipe that is still useful if you want to save a few euros because you can produce large quantities that you can also give to some of your friend maker or hobbyist.Prussian blue

For example there is this version that you can find online even if the shipping cost affects the final price.

The blue layout provides a smooth, quick-drying coating for tool and mold manufacturers and production layout jobs.

Adheres to all types of metal.

It is not corrosive, non-flaking and heat resistant.

You can use it to track your knife.

DIY Prussian Blue


Also although it may seem strange it is not easy to find this type of product and often the cost of the product is considerable.

Ps. I do not know if there is a deterioration of the product over time, my advice is once used to keep it well sealed and in the dark.

The preparation process is simple and the product can be used immediately once mixed.

A small premise is necessary because the ink you will make must have fundamental properties:

  • Must dry quickly
  • It should not be affected by the lubricant (including wd40) and water when dimming the bar to cool it
  • The colored surface must not “flake” when the tip to be traced (fine) to obtain clear and precise lines.
  • It must withstand the passage of fingers on the piece.
  • He has to easily take off at the end of the job with a rag soaked in alcohol.

Attention!! If there is something wrong with you it means that you have done something wrong in the ingredients or doses indicated.

The recipe for Prussian blue:

  1. Melt 50 grams of shellac in 250 cc of alcohol at 94 or 99 °,be careful that shellac to melt needs time so close the jar shake it well and leave to rest overnight. In the morning you will find all the shellac loose. It uses denatured ethyl alcohol 99.9 ° (used in the restoration as a solvent for shellac) and shellac de cerata in flakes (very pure flakes, bleached and purified from coloring substances);
  2. Use an old nylon stocking to filter the liquid into another jar.
  3. Pour slowly of the blue-colored alcohol (powders that dissolve in alcohol create a solution of the chosen color), waving well with a stick to avoid lumps, color 10 grams for 250 cc of alcohol. The powder color is a “bite color for purple alcohol wood“, you can find it in stores that deal with supplies for restorations (price about 2 euros). It must be toalcohol, do not replace it with colors to aniline or water.DIY Prussian Blue
  4. Get yourself a plastic jar with an airtight closure in which to beam and good tracking.

Ps. It is important to store it in an airtight container to avoid evaporation of alcohol and close it immediately after use.

To spread it use a cotton bud (the ear hygiene stick) so that it is spread without leaving the lines due to the hairs of the brush and also because it is disposable and you do not have to clean the brush every time.DIY Prussian Blue

Spread it quickly and prevent it from thick.

Pss. Aniline is a very toxic product for humans to handle it carefully or use something alternative but always based on alcohol.

The color you want you can vary from blue to red, it’s up to you!

DIY Prussian Blue

The recipe and procedure for making yourself Prussian blue in different quantities:

Ingredients per 200 cc of product:

  • 40 gr of shellac flakes (possibly dewaxed)
  • 200 cc of ethyl alcohol at 94° (better at 99.9°)
  • 8 gr of powder color (aniline soluble in alcohol)

Ingredients for 250 cc of product:

  • 50 gr of shellac flakes (possibly dewaxed)
  • 250 cc of ethyl alcohol at 94° (better at 99.9°)
  • 10 grams of powdered colour (alcohol-soluble aniline)Prussian blue

Ps. attention!! 200 cubic centimeters is 20 centilitres

Good tracing with DiY Prussian blue!

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Prussian blue

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Andrea F

Maker and Enthusiast of Knifemaking. Other: Engineer / Professional Blogger / Bass Player / Instructor of Boxing / Muay Thai / Brazilian Jiu Jitsu / Grappling / CSW / MMA / Self Defence / FMA / Dirty Boxing / Silat / Jeet Kune Do & Kali / Fencing Knife / Stick Fighting / Weapons / Firearms. Street Fight Mentality & Fight Sport! State Of Love And Trust!


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